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A publication of the University of Oklahoma Foundation
Sooner Shorts
News and events from around OU.

Ribbon-cutting in Arezzo

Ribbon-cutting in Arezzo

In June, following nearly seven years of renovations, the University of Oklahoma in Arezzo inaugurated the Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the garden of the renovated Santa Chiara Monastery.  The beautifully restored site serves as the university’s flagship international study center.  Highlights of the center include classrooms, seminar and conference rooms with 17th- and 18th-century frescoes; an upper and lower library; a courtyard; student and faculty suites; a full-service kitchen and cafeteria; a loggia offering panoramic views of Arezzo and the province; as well as a Tuscan garden. Each semester, the facility is able to accommodate up to 48 university students to serve as their home in Italy during their study abroad experience.

Grabbing the Bronze

OU men’s gymnastics head coach Mark Williams led the U.S. Olympic team, which featured former OU standouts Jake Dalton, Alex Naddour and Olympic team captain Chris Brooks. Naddour, shown here competing for OU, took home the bronze medal in Rio for his performance on the pommel horse.

Hall of Famer

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame welcomed OU head coach Sherri Coale to its membership in June. Coale has led the Sooners to three Final Fours and won 10 Big 12 championships during her celebrated, two-decade career. She has been named Big 12 Coach of the Year four times and taken her teams to 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. That represents the fifth-longest current streak in the nation. 

Pocket Payout

Cell phones have become a major classroom distraction for students and the height of frustration for professors. That’s why the new “Pocket Points” app is gaining OU fans. Students who open the app and lock their phones earn Pocket Points redeemable for discounts at local shops and restaurants. The app is available on iTunes and Google Play and makes squashing the impulse to check your phone pay for itself.

Martian Maneuvers

“Rovie McRoverface” and a team of OU School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering students scored big on the simulated surface of Mars during NASA’s 2016 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concept –Academic Linkage Exploration Robo-Ops Competition. Rovie was inspired by a 1970s Russian  rover and has a bendable spin and cone-shaped wheels perfect for trundling over Mars’ rocky landscape. The rover was put to the test at NASA’s Houston headquarters, while part of OU’s team provided mission control from Norman. “The rover from Oklahoma smashed all previous records by 50 percent,” says NASA’s Pat Troutman. “It had a flawless performance and has opened a new paradigm for teleoperated rovers.”  

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